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Vitamin B12 deficiency and Antibiotics

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Old 03-22-2006, 05:57 AM   #1
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osmonxp HB User
Question Vitamin B12 deficiency and Antibiotics

Well, I went for a food allergy test and my allergist confronted me with the results of some blood work we did a few weeks ago (I was complaining of dizziness and numbness) it turns out I have a vitamin B12 deficiency, the doctor does not know what could be the reason for this deficiency but I suspect it has something to do with all the antibiotics I have been taking for the sinus infection. Is this common? How serious you think it is? She is recommending weekly shots of B12 (which they hurt like hell) Have you experienced this before?? Thank you.

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Old 03-22-2006, 08:39 AM   #2
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elmhar HB Userelmhar HB User
Re: Vitamin B12 deficiency and Antibiotics


Haven't heard of it being related to antibiotic use, myself. What you do hear about antibiotics is that they wipe out the beneficial flora from the gut & people should eat yogurt w/active cultures or take a probiotic to replace the good bugs after being on antibiotics.

B12 deficiency can occur w/hypochloridia (low stomach acid). Stomach acid is needed to get the B12 out of food. It has been shown that taking antacids reduces B12 absorption.

You also need intrinsic factor to bind & help absorb B12. People vary in how much intrinsic factor their stomachs secrete, usually less as you get older. Your doc can also test for intrinsic factor antibodies. If these are present, you may need to supplement long-term.

B12 deficiency is fairly common in celiac disease, which is now being recognized as occurring in 1% of the US population.

The shots yes are a pain in the ****, BUT it is impt to get your B12 level up ASAP because serious med & psych probs can result from low B12. Kudos to your doc for testing! Too many people out there being medicated inappropriately when what they need is B12.

There's hope: some pretty good sublingual (under the tongue) B12 supplements. The best absorbed are methyl B12 or methylcobalamin. You can take up to 5,000 mcg/day this way. Perhaps after a spell of the booster shots, your doc will let you switch to oral, with monitoring.

Best wishes.

Old 03-23-2006, 11:06 AM   #3
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sneezydiva HB User
Re: Vitamin B12 deficiency and Antibiotics

Wow! Even with the painful shots, I'm sure it must be encouraging that maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully the B12 shots will resolve some of your symptoms.

I also have never heard of a connection to B12 and antibiotic use. But if you have taken a lot of antibiotics, it is certainly a good idea to take some probiotics to help rebalance your good flora.

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